četrtek, 03. januar 2013

Another Rainy Day

Lots of rain here. We were lucky enough to have one sunny and one cloudy day, but from today on it's going to rain. The extended forecast for January shows two days with partial sun and nine days with clouds, all the rest is rain. Or showers.
January 1st was a bit of a craze. After coming back from the sunrise watch and having a late breakfast we had to run. The next door neighbor's house was on fire. As I heard later it was the postman (no holidays for postmen) who saw the smoke from the living room and called the gramps (who lives alone in that house) to run out. The old man was in the kitchen so he just yelled back that why the hell should he run since everything is all right... It took some time to convince him that something's definitely wrong, but he unwillingly agreed to leave the house only after he managed to get burnt. The village volunteer firefighters were so damn quick after the postman called that they were here even before we realized what was going on. The first thing they asked was if they should put the fire out or leave the house to burn completely. However strange, it was a reasonable question. Insurance. Depending on your insurance, some partial fire damage may not be considered enough for the insurance company to pay for it, thus it can happen that the owner is willing to let his house burn and get the total insurance money. Not in this case. Save what can be saved! Not that we saved much, I guess that the water made a lot of damage, too. Nobody actually dared to go in the house - a Japanese house is made mostly of wood, paper and plastic. Blazing flames and thick toxic smoke... no, thanks, we left it to the professionals with oxygen masks. It took maybe less than 30 minutes to extinguish the last little flame in the ceiling, the whole structure looked safe and the police investigators started their work to find out what just everybody in the village already knew: the cause of the fire was the electric heater. The old neighbor wasn't badly burnt and also the firefighters were just soaking wet. And I was again amazed by the Japanese - in all the rush (bordering to panic) to pull all the hoses to the house we had to be very careful in the garden! At the end of the everything not a single flower had been stomped on and not a single branch of the bonsai trees was broken!

All in all, for me it was a good excuse to start the morning with a beer. Not with "a". With beer. And after lunch I went to another beach. Yeah, plenty of beaches here. Too bad it's winter time. On the way to the beach there's "my" banana tree, I used to pick a banana or two each time I passed by when I was here the last time, but now it's too early. Only banana flowers.

I spent few hours just looking at the ocean and listening to the waves. And drinking beer, of course.

Yesterday, no sun. Clouds and wind. Went to buy smokes after lunch and kept going. I noticed a small torii near the road for the first time and decided to visit the shrine.

Since I'm in Japan it felt perfectly natural to leave the bicycle unlocked near the road and I went by the steep path till the top of the hill to find the smallest shrine I've ever seen. In English it can be called shrine, but I think what I found is a hokora. Now I just have to find which kami resides there.
But the view from there was fantastic!

Clearly I can't end this post without some more pictures from yet another beach...

Last day of holidays, tomorrow back to work. Back to rain.
I'm working in the rain
Just working in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
I'm on Tokunoshima again
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for harvest
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the fields
Come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face
I walk down the sugarcane field
With a happy refrain
Just harvestin',
Harvestin' in the rain

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